Prices stuck in neutral on Connecticut home sales for 2019

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Connecticut's home sale market ended 2019 pretty much the way it began the year, as overall prices for single-family houses — the largest share of the market — remained stuck in neutral and sales slipped, compared with the previous year, a new report Wednesday shows.

The median sale price of a single-family house statewide was $260,000 in 2019, a lackluster 0.4% increase from $259,000 a year earlier, according to The Warren Group, which collects real estate data and tracks real estate trends in New England.

Sales fell 2.1% on a year-over-year basis, Warren Group reported.

The median sale price — where half the sales are above, half below — of a single-family house in Connecticut hasn't been this high since 2008 when it came in at $267,500. But the median is still 12% below the most recent peak in 2007 of $295,000.

Despite weak price gains in 2019, Warren Group chief executive Tim Warren noted that the increase did mark a fourth consecutive year of price increases in Connecticut.

"Although the larger counties like Fairfield, Hartford and New Haven actually saw the median sale price decline or remain flat on a year-over-year basis, the smaller Connecticut counties did their part in bolstering the statewide price at the end of 2019," Warren said, in a release.

Prices in New London County saw the biggest year-over-year gain in 2019, rising 4.3% to $239,000, from $230,000 a year ago. Tolland and Litchfield counties tied for second place, increasing 2.2% percent each, Tolland reaching $227,000 and Litchfield, $235,000.

The median sale price slipped 0.7% in 2019 to $226,000 from $227,500. Sales fell 1.1% to 8,396 from 8,488.

Condo sales were essentially flat in 2019 compared with the previous year, but the median sale price rose 1.2%, to $167,000 from $165,000 a year earlier. The median price rose to a five-year high and marked the third consecutive year of gains.

Economists point to weak job growth, and the state's struggle to even regain the jobs lost in the last recession, let alone add new ones, as contributing to the lackluster improvements in home sales. The state has replaced just 86.1% of jobs shed in the Great Recession, which stretched from March 2008 to February 2010 in Connecticut.

Some conditions such as low mortgage rates have made buying an attractive option.

The mix of houses and condos for sale at any one time can influence the direction of sale prices. But the median sale price is a well-watched indicator of larger market trends.

Tribune Content Agency
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